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Marathon Training: How to prepare for your first marathon or half marathon

Marathon Training: How to prepare for your first marathon or half marathon


This is the second instalment in our four part series on half marathon and marathon training. The Rock’n’Roll half marathon and KBC Dublin marathon are growing closer and closer. Our first blog this month informs you of the benefits of competing in a full or half marathon and is worth checking out. Whether you are completing the Dublin marathon, a marathon elsewhere or a half marathon this blog will try to give you some hints and tips on how best to prepare for these events if it’s your first time. Proper preparation prevents poor performance!!

Distance of Marathon Training

Firstly, and most importantly choose a distance that you are capable of. If you have never ran a 5 or 10 km, running an entire marathon is a big jump. Start off small and work into the longer distance events in time. I often see this problem in the clinic where individuals have not allowed their body adequate time to adapt to the training load and they end up with injuries. Competing in several half marathons and understanding the training it takes to complete this distance will best prepare you for the step up to a full marathon. This is the same when preparing for a half marathon, get plenty of 5km or 10km events under your belt.


Follow a training programme or guidance from a running coach. Joining a running club or getting an individualised training programme is essential for your training. And stick to it. On the KBC Dublin marathon website there is lots of information on training programmes and tips. Over the next few weeks and months many of your runs will be long distance to ensure you have built up the mileage. Slowly in the weeks leading up to the marathon you will begin to taper your training, which includes shorter distance runs. This will allow you to recover sufficiently in the build up to the marathon in October. Following these training patterns is important in achieving your goal time during the marathon and preventing injury.


Allow time for recovery throughout your training. Half marathon and more so full marathon training are physically demanding and your body needs time to recover and prepare for the next training session. Follow instructions of planned recovery days and recovery runs. Fuelling your body correct with the correct nutrition is part of this recovery as well as a regular stretching programme.

KBC Dublin marathon also have some great information on their website on training, click here to find out more.

Address any injuries or aches. Visit your physiotherapist early before any injuries worsen or become impactful on your training. Early treatment and guidance on your training from your physiotherapist can be very important in preventing time out of training. We are lucky that here in the clinic we have two physiotherapist with MSc in Sports and exercise medicine and are experts at treating an athletic population. Book in with Dave or Olive today online or call (01) 660 6582 for an appointment.



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